Combat veteran says he was coerced into confessing

2013-01-25T14:56:00Z 2013-01-25T15:21:33Z Combat veteran says he was coerced into confessingBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 25, 2013 2:56 pm  • 

The defense attorney for a Tucson man accused of engaging in sex acts with a 4-year-old girl believes his client was coerced into confessing.

A Pima County grand jury indicted Paul Machado, 41, on three counts of sexual misconduct in November.

Defense attorney Brian Metcalf says in court documents that Machado maintained his innocence for the vast majority of a 2-hour interview.

However, Metcalf said two police detectives kept telling Machado there were only two explanations for the girl's injuries -- a "simple, but mistaken touch or penetration/rape by a violent predator."

They told him if he admitted he touched the girl he could get a second chance. Or, they said, he could continue to deny everything and be treated as a violent predator/rapist.

During the last 20 minutes of the interview, Metcalf said his client told the detectives he was "sick and tired" but they continued with the interview.

Eventually, Metcalf said his client "essentially parroted back exactly what the detective said he needed to hear."

Still, Metcalf said Machado wasn't able to provide any specific details about what allegedly happened.

In fact, when the detective said he believed "X" happened, Machado responded "I believe so, I mean, just..." and the interrogation ended.

When the case was presented to the grand jury, the detective didn't quote Machado as saying "I believe so, I mean, just...." The detective told the grand jury he admitted to a specific act, Metcalf said.

Metcalf believes the case needs to be re-presented to the grand jury so the grand jury can hear specifically what Machado said.

Machado is a former U.S. Army Ranger who did several combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result, Metcalf said.

Machado suffers from memory loss, reduced cognitive functioning, chronic pain and insomnia, Metcalf said.

The little girl made the allegations one month after her mother broke up with Machado and made her move out of his apartment, Metcalf said.

Judge Paul Tang will hear oral arguments on the motion next Friday.

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